The hunt for the ‘Most Beautiful Fat Girl’ ends on Friday when over 35 plus-size contestants, weighing a minimum of 176lbs (12.5stone), participate in the final.
Entrants must don a swimming costume and strut their stuff in front of an audience, as well as perform a choreographed dance to prove fat is fabulous.
A panel of 12 judges will score the larger ladies on their personality, congeniality, shape and beauty.
And the new tubbiest title holders will bag a bundle of prizes including holidays, clothes, a photoshoot, cosmetics and a cheque.
Organiser and plus size model, Claudia Ferreira, 34, said: “Being fat can mess with your self-esteem as people tend to think they have the right to bully you and put you down because of your size.
“This competition is about boosting big girls’ confidence, teaching society-at-large to appreciate the more generous figure and showing everyone that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.
“This is a competition about having plump thighs, a well-padded rear, bosoms rather than boobs and a curvaceous body to be proud of.
“It’s a nerve-wracking experience which is all about getting the girls to face up to their biggest fears and helping them deal with the embarrassment.
“I take it as a compliment and thank people when they call me fat. It’s always good to remember there are many people who appreciate big girls.
“If you have a tendency to be fat, that doesn’t mean you have to be unhealthy and sedentary.
“I go to the gym regularly, eat healthily, but because I easily put on weight I keep a close check on my cholesterol and glucose levels.”
The Most Beautiful Fat Girl pageant – held in Brazil – is divided into two categories of 18 to 35-year-olds and 36 to 55-year-olds with candidates, who won the qualifying heats in their region, representing 20 of the 27 states.
There is also an online competition where entrants, who don’t have the courage to participate in the live shows, can submit their picture to the official competition website. An online audience will vote later this month for their favourite to win the internet’s tubbiest title.
One of the youngest vying for the Most Beautiful Fat Girl crown is student Nayara dos Santos, 19, representing Minas Gerais in the junior section.
She takes a dress size 50 (US – 18, UK – 20) and weighs around 272lbs (19.5stone).
She said: “This is my first ever national competition and I’m nervous but equally excited to show others just how amazing young fat girls can be. And to show that I am no longer prepared to be pressured into being thin.
“I have done all the diets, lost a ton of weight and piled it all back on. But by going through the earlier qualifying heats for this competition I’m now learning to enjoy my extra kilos.
For years Brazil has been seen as the land of the fit and toned beach body. But that slender image is now in the past with more than half of the population registering as overweight.
Business woman Roberta Augusta, 43, who weighs 203lbs describes herself as ‘well-distributed’. She represents Minas Gerais in the senior division.
She said: “Over the past five years I’ve participated and won several plus size competitions. However, before I started entering these contests, I suffered from depression because of my weight.
“There were many times I wouldn’t even come out of the house because I was ashamed. These shows have helped me heal psychologically and taught me to accept who I am.”
Priscilla Lima, 40, who weighs 330lbs and is a size 52 (US – 20, UK – 22), is an event organiser from Rio de Janeiro.
She said: “I’ve always found that other people have issues with me being so fat. But I don’t care. I love to flaunt, preen and enjoy who I am. I see myself as sexy, seductive and a real woman.
“I tell haters if you don’t like what you see, it’s not my problem.”
Last year’s winners, Milian Aquarelo in the junior division and Jucilena Salaza in the senior category will be present to hand over their crowns to this year’s new queens.